Billy "Dale" MacDonald, In Memoriam

[See 10/17/20 Update, Below]

Whether an occasional visitor or a life-long resident of the Boston area, you can count yourself among the world’s most fortunate people if you are one of the many friends of Billy "Dale" MacDonald.

Billy overcame adversity his entire life to achieve what few of us can claim:  truly being loved entirely for the person he is, not his station in life.

Unconditionally, Billy loved people and life itself, and that in turn instilled in others an abiding love for him.

And while it’s notable that Billy had so many personal friendships among the influential and famous, those connections formed merely the tip of an immense iceberg of treasured friendships that he shared.

No matter who you were: when Billy met you, Billy remembered you on a very personal level… your family, your priorities, your hopes, your concerns. Whether you were a performer on a stage, a star athlete on the field of play, or the guy who swept-up afterward.  Indefatigably, he always wanted to get to know the next receptive person, and how you and those closest to you were doing.

Over the years, Billy touched so many with his heartfelt friendship, enriching everyone with his enthusiastic optimism, encyclopedic knowledge and, without exaggeration here, his profound philosophical insights.

Perhaps due to the adversities he overcame, this unassuming, seemingly unexceptional dude was incredibly deep on myriad spiritual, devoutly religious and intellectual levels in ways that could astound even the most Socratic.

Meanwhile, within his many outward limitations, Billy lived life to his fullest and its most fun potential -- and then some.  Billy loved a road-trip to see friends, near and far. He liked to be part of events, and be in the swim of things.

Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of Billy saying his final goodbye was, in the lyrics of one of his closest friends, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

Our Appeal

Billy was able to do all this despite not having the means that many of us would consider as essential.

Due to health and physical limitations, Billy had to work very hard his entire life to do the activities many take for granted.  Not just the big things like going to school, graduating college and getting a job.  He did all that.  But even daily activities and moving about.

All of which eventually caught up to him, and Billy could not continue to work his job at the Defense Department.  Consequently, he had to manage the last decade of his life on disability with little to no savings.

In order to cover final expenses and to provide our dear friend Billy with the memorial he richly deserves -- and his multitude of friends so desperately need! -- we are asking for reasonable donations to put that together a service befitting our friend and to be able to share that interactively with everyone as best we can.

(Photo: Billy and his Dad, together once again.)

Update (10/17/20):

William F. “Dale” MacDonald, Jr. was laid to rest Friday, October 16, 2020 in his hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Thanks to the generous donations of friends and family, far and wide, Billy received a touching ceremony in his beloved Catholic tradition truly befitting the person he was and the life he lived.

The stories and remembrances shared by those able to attend elicited belly laughs and heartfelt tears, the latter due to our own emotional loss rather than regret or disappointment.

For Billy lived a full life that brook no regrets. A poignant reminder that we all share this ultimate destiny, and we should live our lives better, together and for each other, accordingly.

As we move on to construct lasting memorials, both stone and virtual, to our dear friend, please feel free to contact Ed Holston or any of the GFM organizers if you have any questions about the progress of the effort or disposition of the funds raised.

Thank you and may God bless you and our dear friend, Billy "Dale" MacDonald.

Keohane Funeral Home 

Required Disclosures: Ed Holston is a long-time friend of Billy MacDonald and a licensed attorney. He is coordinating the fundraiser in collaboration with Ed Donahue, the executor of Billy’s estate; Ellen Mahoney-Hilsinger; and Joe Berry.  All are long-term friends and caregivers to Billy who serve without compensation.  Funds raised will be used exclusively for: funereal, church service and burial services, provided by Keohane Funeral Home, including the acquisition of a burial plot; the additional estimated cost of headstone marker; the creation of and posting of a multimedia tribute to Billy’s life; probate fees and closure of his estate and payment of residual expenses.  Any surplus funds will be used to fund a college scholarship in Billy’s name at Weymouth High School.
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 27 mos
  • Christine Brennan
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Lee Rollick
    • $200 
    • 27 mos
  • Mehigan Family
    • $50 
    • 27 mos
  • Ellen MacDonald Beucler
    • $400 
    • 27 mos
See all


Edward Holston
Framingham, MA

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